Kate is behind Embarrassment of Riches, a record of her and her husband’s adventures in New York. I’m often struck by how much their taste in restaurants parallels our own, and find their enthusiasm for exploring the city to be infectious. I’m so happy to learn more about her travels outside of the city–and plan to mine this for inspiration for our own family holidays…
We’ve asked a few friends and fellow-bloggers to drop-in and share while we take some time to get to know this amazing little person, Hudson, whom we’ve just welcomed to the world. We’ll no doubt be dropping in here and on babymine.net from time to time, but we’re so grateful for these wonderful guest posts and hope you enjoy them as well.
At least once a year, my family made the fourteen-hour drive from the East Coast to
Missaukee County, Michigan to visit our Midwestern relatives. Sometimes we would
arc through Canada, but usually we slogged endlessly through Pennsylvania and
Ohio instead. If we set off too late and neither parent could keep their eyes open
any longer, the four of us would sleep upright in the locked car at a truck rest stop.
(Even at seven years old, I found this practice alarming.)
Lake City, more than two hundred miles north of Detroit, was home to both sets of
grandparents. I have fond memories of sitting at the kids’ table, late-night séances
with the Ouija board, tetherball, huckleberry picking, waterskiing in the summer,
snowmobiling in the winter, and Michigan-specific treats like Vernors pop, Blue
Moon ice cream, and iron pies. We canoed down the Manistee River and took
daytrips to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and Mackinac Island.
I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t always appreciate how provincial Lake City was.
(The tiny town only recently installed its first stoplight.) My mother’s parents
eschewed cable television for card games. They tapped trees to make their own
maple syrup (I secretly wished they’d buy Aunt Jemima) and kept honeybees
long before the current artisanal food craze. There was nothing approaching a
shopping mall except for the Woolworth’s was a half-hour away. As an adult, I
now understand the allure of Lake City to my parents, who spent their childhood
summers there themselves. The older I get, the more nostalgic I am for those simple
days spent in a simple place.